I guess the moral of this story is get up when you wake up. You know, if there is one.

May 23, 2007 § Leave a comment

I was awake at 6:55 this morning, and had every intention of staying awake, but it’s chilly again today, so I went back to bed to warm up. And fell asleep until 8:35— so much for health, wealth, wisdom and the worm. In that time I had a satisfyingly traumatic dream about giving CPR to my cousin Anthony.

Anthony died during a hike with my uncle, his father, on June 4, 2005. Here he is on his 26th birthday, just a few weeks before.


He’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the early nineties, I think, and his medications were constantly in flux, and that day he had a fatal combination of bad reactions. He first complained of being thirsty. So thirsty, in fact, that he drank all of the water they’d brought for an eight-hour hike. Then he had trouble breathing. They were within sight of the parking lot when he needed to sit down. My uncle tried to call for help, but he couldn’t get a signal, and the rescue helicopter didn’t arrive for thirty minutes.

And that’s what I dreamed about this morning. Those thirty minutes of trying to keep Anthony alive. I was performing CPR, my uncle was covering him with dry leaves to keep him warm. Breathing for Anthony, keeping his heart beating… he would pick up the rhythm and breathe on his own for a second, and I’d think I had saved him, but then he would stop again. I knew it wouldn’t work, but I had to keep trying, I could save him this time. This time! he would be! all right! I kept imagining I could hear the helicopter, but it never came. He wasn’t all right.

When I finally woke up, Richard told me he’d dreamed that we were at a local artist’s apartment in Lunenburg, and as we passed from room to room, all the guests were charmed by us. They invited us to dinner parties, gallery openings, committee meetings— we were a hit!

“That sounds like a nice dream,” I said.


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